Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Releasing Expectations

 

       Life presents us with opportunities for growth; some painful and some exciting, but these lessons are always challenging our core values and beliefs.  With every new opportunity, we test ourselves and all that we currently know by choosing to either move forward toward the unknown or play it safe.  Whenever we start something new, we’re pushing past our comfort zone and thus pushing past our expectations. While there is familiarity with the known, there is little growth so we make up expectations and fantasize about what this new experience will be like. It’s almost like preparing for a play by studying our lines, except we are the writer, actor, and director. We give emotion, dialogue, and set the scene for our new adventure, environment or relationship, and then get upset when things don’t turn out the way we planned (expected).

Having expectations is part of being human, however, it doesn’t have to take center stage. We’ve all heard the saying “expectations are planned resentments”. This means that by creating them, or buying into them, we are setting ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and pain. Instead, take life as it comes and learn to “roll with it”. Plan, if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of “expecting” anything of a person, place, or thing (ex: event).  The key to releasing expectations is acceptance.

Accept what you cannot change. And that is pretty much everything outside of yourself. Recognize your Spiritual power within and harness control (awareness) over your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Practice an attitude of gratitude. As Dr. Bernie Siegel says in his book 101 Exercises for the Soul, “you can’t be troubled and grateful at the same time”.  Through acceptance and gratitude, peace and joy exist.

I am so grateful to have learned this lesson in my life and for the opportunity to practice is regularly.     Join me in releasing expectations forever! There is freedom in not expecting and instead simply allowing experiences to unfold; naturally.  Try it today and see for yourself.

 

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Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Planting Seeds of Faith

Spring if often a time for planting in the garden. A time of renewal and anticipation filled with promise and hope. I love 

gardening; planting seeds of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. This brings me joy and connects me to mother earth, which is a very grounding experience. At a recent workshop I attended, we explored the idea of seeds being planted into the conscious mind by way of intentions where they germinate and later manifest into our desires. Today, I want to explore the various seeds we can plant in our own lives and see what sprouts.

Just like there are many varieties of seeds available to plant for food, shade,  or pleasure; there are endless seeds of thought we can plant for a multitude of outcomes. We can choose to plant the seeds of wholeness, wellness, joy, love, beauty, success, dreams, simplicity, harmony, balance, fun, creativity, relationships, communication, forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, faith, strength, courage, wisdom, completion, discipline, longevity, health, adventure, positivity and so much more… There are an infinite amount of seeds available to plant in the fertile soil of our consciousness. The trick is to continue nurturing them and not dig them up. When we plant a seed, we are expressing faith in Universal Laws or Truths that we can trust to manifest our desires. Tomato seeds produce tomatoes. They can’t produce cucumbers because that’s not the intention of their seeds. The same in true for planting seeds of joy, wisdom, love and anything else in life; they all correspond to the intention of that particular seed. Therefor, paying attention to the seeds we plant in our own minds, correspond with the outcomes we experience in our own lives.

We have a choice. Planting seeds of faith require gratitude which nurtures the composition of the seeds allowing them to flourish into manifestation. What would you like to plant today? I invite you to plant the seeds that would make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling. Write them down. Nourish them with positivity, faith and trust. Weed out doubt, fear, or negativity. Instead, focus your energy on the outcome of these seeds and before long you will begin to see them sprout (manifest) in your life.

* If you liked this article, please comment below and/ or reblog (post on your page/wall) to share with others. Let me know what seeds you’re planting and together we can nurture all the possibilities!

The Blessings of Palm Sunday

  Today is Palm Sunday; the kick off to Holy Week for millions of Christians and Jews all over the world and a time for prayerful reflection and gratitude, as well as preparation for changes yet to come. For Christians, today marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a road covered with palms fit for a king.

In the Jewish faith, the rituals of Passover serve as important reminders of the sacrifices and triumphs made by the Israelites to regain their freedom in ancient Egypt.

For me, Palm Sunday has deep spiritual meaning because it marks the beginning of personal transformation. Each year, I release another layer of pain, regret, or shame in order to resurrect a new dimension of freedom. Today, I embark on Holy Week by identifying what aspects of my character or life need forgiveness or healing. Then I pray on these areas all week long in order to gain greater clarity of their deeper meaning; to identify the lessons they have for me, since I know that everything happens for a reason and this includes every action and reaction I may have.  I also double up on reading spiritual literature to help me to see different points of view and therefor open up my consciousness to greater capacities for love and understanding. I also meditate on these messages from scripture and other sacred texts in order to heed their personal message for me  allowing them to inspire and motivate me through this process of grieving and healing.

What does today (this week) mean for you?

I urge you to take serious thought about utilizing the blessings of Palm Sunday and this Holy Week to resurrect a new found freedom within yourself. In order to have a breakthrough, we must each be willing to break down our barriers (walls) of anger, hurt, shame, fear, and pain so that we can ascend to a higher plane of existence.

Change is possible. Change is inevitable. Give yourself the blessing of embracing changes in your life with courage and strength. Face them head on and witness the miracles for yourself. Create your own rituals or plug into the one’s offered by your spiritual community, and utilize this sacred time of year to cleanse your heart of any unwanted feelings that may be holding you back.

Throughout the week I will be posting messages of hope and faith as I embark on this sacred journey and remember the sacrifices Jesus made for me through his example.

Join me today. Comment what’s on your heart. Identify your areas for transformation. Great joy await for us all on the other side!

Love & Blessings

Rev. Lisa

 

Gratitude as the Gateway

 

Whatever the circumstance, gratitude can open the door from chaos to order; blocks to breakthroughs and endings to new beginnings filled with possibility. Gratitude is truly the gateway to happiness and more importantly, satisfaction with life. When we choose to look at what is right in our lives, we shift our focus and instantly our energy as well as outlook changes. The darkness of self-pitty and depression instantly become lighter, fear turns into renewed faith and despair turns into hope the minute we surrender and accept where we are in the moment. Being grateful for all the blessings we have in the moment open a space within us to accept the unacceptable with grace and ease. This practice paves the way for peace and clear thinking in which solutions can present themselves. When we are locked by resistance, we block God’s help. Gratitude breaks through the resistance by reminding us things could always be worse and helps us to put everything in perspective. Of course, we may not like the situation, but we must accept it nonetheless.

Acceptance does not mean forgiveness, or turning the other cheek. Acceptance, simply means acknowledging what is. It is what it is. This mindset helps take the emotion out of things and automatically takes the charge out of things. Try it and see for yourself. I’ve been using this technique for almost a year and the results are phenomenal. Of course this tool requires practice as our human tendency is to react out of emotion first and resist looking at things objectively. Unfortunately, this is the way most people handle problems, challenges and uncomfortable situations. However, it doesn’t have to be this way when you practice gratitude regardless of the outcome.

Starting today, write down everything that is working in your life. Using complete sentences, journal what you appreciate about your life and the people who make it better/worthwhile. Think about a challenge, problem or particularly difficult situation or person and find 10 things to be grateful for. Look for the positive in the person or situation and notice how you feel. Notice your energy level as it begins to shifts. Sleep on it. That’s why I love doing this practice right before bed, because the brain will contemplate it all night long in our sleep as it passes from our conscious mind to the subconscious mind where the real shifts occur. The next day, I usually feel entirely different about the whole situation and can see solutions that I couldn’t before. Tell me about your experience and comment below.

Until then, trust the process of gratitude and allow it to transform your heart, mind, and life.

 

Where is Gratitude in your life?

 Today, I decided to kick of this post with a good, ol, fashioned poll. See link below to participate!

What do you think about Gratitude? I want to know because I think it’s worth looking at in order to become present to our everyday blessings.  Author, Melody Beattie has a great little book out called Gratitude; Affirming the Good Things in Life.  Inside, Beattie reminds us of the principles of Gratitude; recognition, affirmation, acceptance, and goal-setting. What aspects of gratitude stand out for you?

Acceptance of our current circumstances, shifts our attention from drab to fab in the blink of an eye, uplifting our attitude as well as our mood making stress a thing of the past. Now this doesn’t mean we have to love everything in this world, but it does mean we need to accept life on life’s terms. When we practice acceptance, space is opened for gratitude to rush in and that’s where the magic happens. Our whole outlook on life begins to change and fear, negativity, along with depression simply fade away.

As Beattie so beautifully reminds us, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

According to Gogratitude.com, “Gratitude is the Master Key that opens all doors of possibility”. They even have a flash movie and a 42 day gratitude journey with inspiring  and educational videos to kick-start you on the grateful path. Although they call it an “experiment” what more could you ask for to try a gratitude practice of your very own? What have you got to lose anyways… our old ways of being will certainly be there.

I for one, can attest that when I come from a place of gratitude, my heart is open and my eyes are anew; life looks a little brighter, my face and body become more relaxed, my finances increase and judgement simply disappears. So why don’t you come along and take the gratitude challenge with me by seeing how this practice can add years to your life in a prosperous and joy-filled way!

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Thank You!

How could two little words mean so much yet be so simple? I think it’s the message behind them that counts because it convey’s deep appreciation, gratitude and love that acknowledges both parties involved. While this little phrase may seem overused, the practice of it never goes out of style because we all crave recognition for our good deeds in some way. There is nothing wrong with desiring validation for a job well done; however, the challenge comes when we seek this from outside sources (people, work, etc) because then we are giving others power over us and this is can be disastrous to our self-esteem in many ways.

Looking for praise from other people is a set up for resentment. This affects our attitude and behavior, teetering on the side of manipulation sometimes in order to gain approval from others. What if we could acknowledge ourselves? When was the last time you praised yourself? Often we focus on others to avoid looking at ourselves; even when its about acknowledging something positive within ourselves. Can you relate? Why is this?

To counteract this negative habit, I’ve instituted the practice of listing my accomplishments daily in a journal. This single activity forces me to look at all the things that I complete, do well, and achieve. Writing this out stares my monkey mind squarely in the face, and defies the illogical crazies. Try it today and say Thank You to yourself !